China sent an earthquake rescue team to Algeria on Friday, the Chinese government announced.
This was the first time that Chinese rescue personnel have participated in international aid activities for earthquake relief.
The Chinese rescue team, consisting of 30 highly experienced personnel and headed by a deputy director of the China Seismological Bureau, will help with the search and rescue work, bringing with them detecting dogs and relevant equipment and goods.
Before the team's departure for Algeria, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Vice Premier Hui Liangyu gave written instructions to the team, asking them to earnestly fulfill their humanitarian duties and to make contributions to reducing casualties from the earthquake and to promoting the traditional friendship between China and Algeria.
So far, Wednesday's earthquake in northern Algeria has killed more than 1,200 people and injured more than 7,000, Chinese government sources said.
The Chinese government was highly concerned with the disaster and Chinese President Hu Jintao sent a message to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika Thursday expressing sincere sympathy with the Algerian government and people and offering deepcondolences to those lost in the earthquake and their families.
The Chinese government was actively considering the provision of assistance to Algeria within its capability, government sourcessaid.
So far, relevant departments of the Chinese government and the Red Cross Society of China have provided a certain amount of relief funds and goods to the Algerian side, according to the Chinese government.